Player of the Year: OH Shea Hamilton, Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic
Why we picked her: Hamilton has one philosophy on the volleyball court: swing hard. Though only 5-foot-8, she plays much bigger. Hamilton had 280 kills to lead the Marauders and added 312 digs and 28 aces. “Shea is so athletic, she never left the floor,” CCC coach Stephen Shepherd said. “She really only knows one way to play, all out.” Hamilton stood out on a team with several other capable players. Katie Moore, Rachel Odell, Sara Brown and Jenna Dykstra all had more than 150 kills. Hamilton helped lead the Marauders to a second straight Class 3A state semifinal appearance.
Most impressive accomplishment: Hamilton said it was winning the region final against Fort Myers Evangelical Christian in five games to earn a spot at the state final four. She had 18 kills to lead CCC. “It was really big for us,” Hamilton said. “It gave us a chance to get back to states.”
Did you know? Hamilton tried just about every sport growing up. She didn’t like soccer, basketball or softball. In the sixth grade at Skycrest Christian in Clearwater, she was cut from the middle school volleyball team. Even so, she realized it was her favorite sport. “I was horrible in middle school,” Hamilton said. “I didn’t even make my JV team. But once I got into it more I realized that this was going to be my sport. I had to get better or find something else to do.”
Future plans: Still a junior, Hamilton would like to play in college but hasn’t had any offers yet. She plays club for the Pinellas Heat in Clearwater, also coached by Shepherd. “I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t playing volleyball,” Hamilton said. “It’s my main hobby. It’s what I love to do.”
Coach of the Year
Tara Kuk, Palm Harbor University. Kuk led the Hurricanes to the Class 8A region final, the deepest the school has ever gone in the playoffs. The Hurricanes were 21-9 and beat two very good teams — Bloomingdale and Plant — in regionals. The 21-win season came after the graduation of several key seniors last year.
OH Samantha Reeves, Sr., Clearwater: The kind of player who swings for the floor, and usually hits it. She had 342 kills and 69 blocks and was a major reason the Tornadoes advanced to regionals.
OH Allie Russell, Sr., Clearwater: An all-everything type player for the Tornadoes. She had 302 kills and 413 digs.
OH Samantha Schlesman, Jr., Seminole: Top player on a team that won 19 games this; had 228 kills and 65 blocks.
OH Megan Tozour, Jr., Northside Christian: The Mustangs were much improved this season; Tozour did her part with 251 kills, 267 digs and 47 aces.
MH Katie Moore, Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic: A 6-foot-3 menace at the net, the Wake Forest commit had 255 kills and 105 blocks.
MH Naomi Mack, Sr., Palm Harbor University: A jump out of the gym-type player who recorded 282 kills and 138 blocks, both tops on the team.
Lib Ameije Ismaili, Jr., Palm Harbor University: A pure libero, Ismaili had a knack of keeping points alive for the Hurricanes. She had 567 digs, 6.2 per set played.
S Hayley Misewich, Sr., Osceola: A big part of the Warriors’ resurgence, Misewich had 601 assists and 250 digs.
OH Jenna Dykstra, Sr., Clearwater Central Catholic
OH Emily Barton, Sr., Osceola
OH Jazmine Barker, Jr., Palm Harbor University
MH Brittany Taksas, Jr, Northeast
MH Casey Houlton, Sr., St. Petersburg
Lib Monique Oliver, Sr., Indian Rocks Christian
Lib Maria Jose Amundaray, Jr., Clearwater Central Catholic
S Haley Barrett, Sr., Clearwater
Admiral Farragut: Carrie Burman, Claudia Pizzarelli; Boca Ciega: Ngozi Nix, Kaitlin Dement; Calvary Christian: Carley Plentovich, Savannah Plentovich, Anna Vollmer, Gabby Fresh, Shelby Mahaz, Jessica Peiffer; Canterbury: Kayla Perry, Taylor Bump, Samantha Burgess; Clearwater: Caitlin Stoner, Ciara Lusnia, Darby Oakes; Clearwater Central Catholic: Megan Kovach, Ashley Albers, Sara Brown, Rachel Odell; Countryside: Brittany Creamer, Sydney Glover, Natalie Schlereth; Dixie Hollins: Yanlie Milian, Tiffany Camacho, Shea Jemmott; Dunedin: Katie Will, Macayla Chianco, Abbie Sexton, Olivia Welsh; East Lake: Cat Wegner, Shannon Farley, Rachel Cornatzer, Julia Cummings, MaKenzie Powers; Gibbs: Melanie Fort; Indian Rocks Christian: Marissa Brown, Autumn Frost, Hayley Morten, Brooke Morten; Keswick Christian: Madison Span; Lakewood: Kimberly McEntegart, Dhaneshia Shepherd; Largo: Juanita Collins; Northeast: Breann Taksas, Ina Crnalic; Northside Christian: Hannah Artille, Jessi Clarke; Osceola: Katie Newman; Palm Harbor University: Abby Walker, AnnaMarie Huy, Emma Strong, Elena Huy; Pinellas Park: Paula Pham, Britny Bounthisavath; St. Petersburg: Tori Alexander, Carly Danner, Holly Welch, Kaylan Marckese; St. Petersburg Catholic: Lauren Youmans; Seminole: Kona Peterson, Alia Davis, Alex Falcon, Brittony Monty; Tarpon Springs: Kelsi Collins, Allie Cullens, Maddie Thompson